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wWilliam Marvin Bass III (born August 30, 1928) is an American forensic anthropologist, best known for his research on human osteology and human decomposition. He has also assisted federal, local, and non-U.S. authorities in the identification of human remains. He taught at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and though currently retired from teaching, still plays an active research role at the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility, which he founded. The Facility is more popularly known as “The Body Farm”, a name used by crime author Patricia Cornwell in a novel of the same name, which drew inspiration from Dr. Bass and his work. Bass has also described the body farm as “Death’s Acre” – the title of the book on his life and career, co-written with journalist Jon Jefferson. Jefferson and Bass, under the pen name “Jefferson Bass”, have also written seven fictional works: Carved In Bone, Flesh and Bone, The Devil’s Bones, Bones of Betraya l, The Bone Thief, The Bone Yard, The Inquisitor’s Key, and “Cut To The Bone”. Bass is the third generation in his family to have an educational building named after him. The Dr. William M. Bass III Forensic Anthropology Building dedication ceremony was September 27, 2011, near the Body Farm.
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